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Policies

GGRecon’s Corrections, Ethics, Standards, Sources, Fact-Checking, Diversity, Mission Coverage, & Ownership Funding Policies

GGRecon is aiming to be the biggest esports publisher in the world. With this kind of potential reach and influence comes a large degree of responsibility. We must always look to provide our readers with fair, accurate, and impartial content. If we decide to publish an opinion piece, it must be clearly marked as such.

In the Editorial Guidelines document, we have covered several important points that you must always remember when you are publishing content in regards to ethics and standards. However, if you are unsure – do not publish. Always ask your editor if you have any queries.

Here at GGRecon, we adhere to the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, which you can find at the end of this document. We also follow The Samaritans’ Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide. We are currently in the process of becoming a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation, you can find the Editor’s Code at the bottom of this document.

 

Contents (Click to jump to section):

 

Corrections

Typos can happen, therefore if you are made aware of a small issue such as misspelling, grammar issues, numerical, or small factual corrections, then please edit the post as soon as possible, notifying the subeditor so that they are aware.

However, if there is an issue with something that has been written, and it turns out that it is incorrect, or significantly changes the story and its intention, a correction needs to be added to the end of the article, with a date and time of when the change was made. Ensure that you inform your editor prior to submitting the change, so that they can approve it and make a note of when it was edited.

 

Ethics

The Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics

Seek Truth and Report It

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:

Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.

  • Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.
  • Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarising a story.
  • Gather, update and correct information throughout the life of a news story.
  • Be cautious when making promises, but keep the promises they make.
  • Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.
  • Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was granted.
  • Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
  • Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information unless traditional, open methods will not yield information vital to the public.
  • Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Give voice to the voiceless.
  • Support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
  • Recognise a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government. Seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.
  • Provide access to source material when it is relevant and appropriate.
  • Boldly tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience. Seek sources whose voices we seldom hear.
  • Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.
  • Label advocacy and commentary.
  • Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information. Clearly label illustrations and re-enactments.
  • Never plagiarise. Always attribute.

Minimise Harm

Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.

Journalists should:

  • Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a licence for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.
  • Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage. Use heightened sensitivity when dealing with juveniles, victims of sex crimes, and sources or subjects who are inexperienced or unable to give consent. Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment.
  • Recognise that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.
  • Realise that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.
  • Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.
  • Balance a suspect’s right to a fair trial with the public’s right to know. Consider the implications of identifying criminal suspects before they face legal charges.
  • Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication. Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.

Act Independently

The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.

Journalists should:

  • Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
  • Refuse gifts, favours, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.
  • Be wary of sources offering information for favours or money; do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.
  • Deny favoured treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.
  • Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. Prominently label sponsored content.

Be Accountable and Transparent

Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.

Journalist should:

  • Explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Encourage a civil dialogue with the public about journalistic practices, coverage and news content.
  • Respond quickly to questions about accuracy, clarity and fairness.
  • Acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. Explain corrections and clarifications carefully and clearly.
  • Expose unethical conduct in journalism, including within their organisations.
  • Abide by the same high standards they expect of others.

The Samaritans’ Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide

  • Avoid reporting methods of suicide in articles, such as describing someone as having died by hanging, particularly in headlines.
  • Include references to suicide being preventable and signpost sources of support, such as Samaritans’ helpline. This can encourage people to seek help, which could save lives. When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected], or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.
  • Avoid dramatic headlines and strong terms such as ‘suicide epidemic’. Never suggest that someone died instantly or that their death was quick, easy, painless, inevitable or a solution to their problems. Steer clear of language that sensationalises or glorifies suicide.
  • Don’t refer to a specific site or location as popular or known for suicides, for example, ‘notorious site’ or ‘hot spot’ and refrain from providing information, such as the height of a bridge or cliff.
  • Avoid dramatic, emotive or sensational pictures or video footage. Excessive imagery can glamourise a death and lead vulnerable individuals to over-identify with the deceased.
  • Avoid excessive amounts of coverage and overly prominent placement of stories, such as a front page splash or making it a lead story, and do not link to previous stories about suicide.
  • Treat social media with particular caution and avoid mentioning or linking to comments, or websites/forums that promote or glamourise suicide. Similarly, it is safer not to open comments sections on suicide stories and careful consideration should be given around the appropriateness of promoting stories through push notifications.
  • Including content from suicide notes or similar messages left by a person who has died should be avoided. They can increase the likelihood of people identifying with the deceased. It may also romanticise a suicide or cause distress to the bereaved family and friends.
  • Speculation about the ‘trigger’ or cause of a suicide can oversimplify the issue and should be avoided. Suicide is extremely complex and most of the time there is no single event or factor that leads someone to take their own life.
  • Young people are more susceptible to suicide contagion. When covering the death of a young person, do not give undue prominence to the story or repeat the use of photographs, including galleries. Don’t use emotive, romanticised language or images – a sensitive, factual approach is much safer. Coverage that reflects the wider issues around suicide, including that it is preventable, can help reduce the risk of suicidal behaviour. Include clear and direct references to resources and support organisations.

 

Standards

Independent Press Standards Organisation Editors’ Code

The Code

The Code – including this preamble and the public interest exceptions below – sets the framework for the highest professional standards that members of the press subscribing to the Independent Press Standards Organisation have undertaken to maintain. It is the cornerstone of the system of voluntary self-regulation to which they have made a binding contractual commitment. It balances both the rights of the individual and the public's right to know.

To achieve that balance, it is essential that an agreed Code be honoured not only to the letter, but in the full spirit. It should be interpreted neither so narrowly as to compromise its commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it infringes the fundamental right to freedom of expression – such as to inform, to be partisan, to challenge, shock, be satirical and to entertain – or prevents publication in the public interest.
It is the responsibility of editors and publishers to apply the Code to editorial material in both printed and online versions of their publications. They should take care to ensure it is observed rigorously by all editorial staff and external contributors, including non-journalists.
Editors must maintain in-house procedures to resolve complaints swiftly and, where required to do so, co- operate with IPSO. A publication subject to an adverse adjudication must publish it in full and with due prominence, as required by IPSO.

  1. Accuracy

    The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.

    A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.

    A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.

    The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

    A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.

  2. Privacy

    Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.

    Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. In considering an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information and the extent to which the material complained about is already in the public domain or will become so.

    It is unacceptable to photograph individuals, without their consent, in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

  3. Harassment

    Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit.

    They must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist; nor remain on property when asked to leave and must not follow them. If requested, they must identify themselves and whom they represent.

    Editors must ensure these principles are observed by those working for them and take care not to use non-compliant material from other sources.

  4. Intrusion into grief or shock

    In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. These provisions should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.

  5. Reporting Suicide

    When reporting suicide, to prevent simulative acts care should be taken to avoid excessive detail of the method used, while taking into account the media's right to report legal proceedings.

  6. Children

    All pupils should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.

    They must not be approached or photographed at school without permission of the school authorities.

    Children under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.

    Children under 16 must not be paid for material involving their welfare, nor parents or guardians for material about their children or wards, unless it is clearly in the child's interest.

    Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child's private life.

  7. Children in sex cases

    The press must not, even if legally free to do so, identify children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences.

    In any press report of a case involving a sexual offence against a child -

    The child must not be identified.

    The adult may be identified.

    The word "incest" must not be used where a child victim might be identified.

    Care must be taken that nothing in the report implies the relationship between the accused and the child.

  8. Hospitals

    Journalists must identify themselves and obtain permission from a responsible executive before entering non-public areas of hospitals or similar institutions to pursue enquiries.

    The restrictions on intruding into privacy are particularly relevant to enquiries about individuals in hospitals or similar institutions.

  9. Reporting of Crime

    Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story.

    Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children under the age of 18 who witness, or are victims of, crime. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.

    Editors should generally avoid naming children under the age of 18 after arrest for a criminal offence but before they appear in a youth court unless they can show that the individual’s name is already in the public domain, or that the individual (or, if they are under 16, a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult) has given their consent. This does not restrict the right to name juveniles who appear in a crown court, or whose anonymity is lifted.

  10. Clandestine devices and subterfuge

    The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails; or by the unauthorised removal of documents or photographs; or by accessing digitally-held information without consent.

    Engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge, including by agents or intermediaries, can generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means.

  11. Victims of sexual assault

    The press must not identify or publish material likely to lead to the identification of a victim of sexual assault unless there is adequate justification and they are legally free to do so. Journalists are entitled to make enquiries but must take care and exercise discretion to avoid the unjustified disclosure of the identity of a victim of sexual assault.

  12. Discrimination

    The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's, race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

    Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.

  13. Financial journalism

    Even where the law does not prohibit it, journalists must not use for their own profit financial information they receive in advance of its general publication, nor should they pass such information to others.

    They must not write about shares or securities in whose performance they know that they or their close families have a significant financial interest without disclosing the interest to the editor or financial editor.

    They must not buy or sell, either directly or through nominees or agents, shares or securities about which they have written recently or about which they intend to write in the near future.

  14. Confidential sources

    Journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information.

  15. Witness payments in criminal trials

    No payment or offer of payment to a witness – or any person who may reasonably be expected to be called as a witness – should be made in any case once proceedings are active as defined by the Contempt of Court Act 1981. This prohibition lasts until the suspect has been freed unconditionally by police without charge or bail or the proceedings are otherwise discontinued; or has entered a guilty plea to the court; or, in the event of a not guilty plea, the court has announced its verdict.

    Where proceedings are not yet active but are likely and foreseeable, editors must not make or offer payment to any person who may reasonably be expected to be called as a witness, unless the information concerned ought demonstrably to be published in the public interest and there is an over-riding need to make or promise payment for this to be done; and all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure no financial dealings influence the evidence those witnesses give. In no circumstances should such payment be conditional on the outcome of a trial.

    Any payment or offer of payment made to a person later cited to give evidence in proceedings must be disclosed to the prosecution and defence. The witness must be advised of this requirement.

  16. Payment to criminals

    Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures or information, which seek to exploit a particular crime or to glorify or glamorise crime in general, must not be made directly or via agents to convicted or confessed criminals or to their associates – who may include family, friends and colleagues.

    Editors invoking the public interest to justify payment or offers would need to demonstrate that there was good reason to believe the public interest would be served. If, despite payment, no public interest emerged, then the material should not be published.

The Public Interest

  1. The public interest includes, but is not confined to:
    ● Detecting or exposing crime, or the threat of crime, or serious impropriety.
    ● Protecting public health or safety.
    ● Protecting the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation.
    ● Disclosing a person or organisation’s failure or likely failure to comply with any obligation to which they are subject.
    ● Disclosing a miscarriage of justice.
    ● Raising or contributing to a matter of public debate, including serious cases of impropriety, unethical conduct or incompetence concerning the public.
    ● Disclosing concealment, or likely concealment, of any of the above.

  2. There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself.

  3. The regulator will consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain or will become so.

  4. Editors invoking the public interest will need to demonstrate that they reasonably believed publication - or journalistic activity taken with a view to publication – would both serve, and be proportionate to, the public interest and explain how they reached that decision at the time.

  5. An exceptional public interest would need to be demonstrated to over-ride the normally paramount interests of children under 16.

 

Unnamed Sources

When it comes to unnamed sources, we must always respect the anonymity when requested. At no point can we ever name them. If someone requests to be ‘off the record’, then we need to get a clear understanding of what exactly they mean, as many people misinterpret the saying. 

If a subject states that they wish to be ‘off the record’ ask them to clarify if they:

  • a) want their quote to be used in the story without their name attached to it 
  • b) do not want their quote or their name to be used in any story, and are simply supplying the information for context 

An unnamed source may only be used when the story is in the public interest. It may also only be used if: 

  • The information is crucial to the story, and there would be no report without it
  • It is not opinion or speculative information
  • The comment comes from someone who is reliable, and has proven ties to whichever company/person/team etc they are giving information on

Ideally, we will have more than one source prior to publishing a story. However, there may be times when this is not possible. Discuss with the Editor-in-Chief if you only have one source available. 

Distinguishing information (aka Jigsaw Identification) whereby someone may be identified by using isolated facts from the report is against policy. To establish credibility, it is ideal to describe a source as much as possible, without giving away any identifiable information. For example: “According to a source from inside the Overwatch League”. Avoid using just the term: “A source said”. 

If we are covering a story whereby another publication has obtained information via an unnamed source, we must do everything within our power to try and verify the information ourselves. This can be done in a multitude of capacities, including but not limited to:

  • Contacting our own sources 
  • Getting in touch with the company/team/players etc via their press offices

 

Fact-Checking

As a reliable and credible organisation, we need to ensure that all the information we’re publishing is accurate. We should never publish anything that we know is incorrect, misleading, or comes from an unreliable source.

Any pieces that use information from a secondary source must be verified by our own source prior to publishing.

However, mistakes do happen. If new information comes forward post-publishing, significant amendments need to be clearly stated (see the amendment policy).

Content published on the website must adhere to GGRecon’s Ethics policy. Every piece of content is sub-edited, and is all signed off by the Editor-in-Chief.

 

Diversity/Diversity Staffing

GGRecon is committed to promoting equality and diversity among its workforce and eliminating unlawful discrimination. We are committed to the principle of equal opportunity in recruitment and employment including in the recruitment, training, and development of employees. We promote a culture that actively values difference and recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the workplace.
We believe that every single person should be recognised and treated fairly on their merits and abilities and nothing else. Any form of unequal treatment or prejudice discredits our business and undermines its values.

GGRecon provides equality, fairness, and respect for all in their employment, whether temporary, part-time, or full-time. Under the Equality Act 2010, any form of unlawful discrimination directly or indirectly on the grounds of sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, or belief or because someone is married or is a civil partner will not be tolerated. Individual differences and the contribution of all staff are recognised and valued. We aim to create a working environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all.

We provide training to managers and all other employees regarding their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 during recruitment and employment. Employees should understand that they can personally be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment, victimisation, and unlawful discrimination against employees and all other third parties.
GGRecon will take seriously complaints of bullying, harassment, victimisation and unlawful discrimination by fellow employees, customers, suppliers, visitors, the public.

We also aim to make opportunities for training, development, and progress available to all staff, who will be helped and encouraged to develop their full potential, so their talents and resources can be fully utilised to maximise the efficiency of the organisation. In order to ensure that we continue to promote equality of opportunity within our workforce, we request to hold personal data regarding your gender, ethnic origin, and disability.

The recruitment and selection process are crucially important to any equal opportunities' policy. We will endeavour through appropriate training to ensure that employees making selection and recruitment decisions will not discriminate, whether consciously or unconsciously, in making these decisions. Promotion and advancement will be made on merit and all decisions relating to this will be made within the overall framework and principles of this policy. Job descriptions, where used, will be revised to ensure that they are in line with our equal opportunities' policy. Job requirements will be reflected accurately in any personnel specifications. We will adopt a consistent, non-discriminatory approach to the advertising of vacancies.

We will not confine our recruitment to areas or media sources which provide only, or mainly, applicants of a particular group. All applicants who apply for jobs with us will receive fair treatment and will be considered solely on their ability to do the job. All employees involved in the recruitment process will periodically review their selection criteria to ensure that they are related to the job requirements and do not unlawfully discriminate. Shortlisting and interviewing will be carried out by more than one person where possible. Interview questions will be related to the requirements of the job and will not be of a discriminatory nature. We will not disqualify any applicant because he/she is unable to complete an application form unassisted unless personal completion of the form is a valid test of the standard of English required for the safe and effective performance of the job. Selection decisions will not be influenced by any perceived prejudices of other staff.

 

Mission Coverage

GGRecon has no political affiliations, and none with any esports team/company/publication. We seek out the truth, and we report it. Our mission statement is to be informative and entertaining. We know what we’re talking about, and we have an authority on the topics that are being discussed in our content. When it comes to any kinds of social issues, we will cover the topic fairly, sensitively, and without bias.

 

Ownership Funding

GGRecon was founded, and funded by UK billionaire and entrepreneur Fred Done. The Betfred co-founder has a multitude of businesses including the aforementioned Betfred, The Sportsman, Degree 53, a minor stake in William Hill, and more. While his business empire could cause some favouritism, although in the esports world, GGRecon is the only esports business Fred has under his arm. GGRecon will always be impartial, while covering the facts.

 

 

Any questions into our policies, please contact us.